Thoughts: I've been having a lot of them lately.
Most of the time, (honest moment), I feel like I'm 'in a rut' writing wise, but this is mainly because I have ten million things and thoughts scuffling around in my head, and processing them into a well-constructed and solid post, is super challenging. I'm sure you're with me; in the age of social media, the Internet being at our fingertips, the endless amounts of scrolling...
We see SO much.
We compare SO much.
I've talked often about seasons of friendships and how life can just be funky. The ebb and flow of who sticks by our side (and whose side WE stick by), changes, all the time. But there are some friends that just stay; regardless of the amount of time we are able to spend together, regardless of our different opinions and beliefs. I have one girlfriend in particular who used to be my teaching assistant for my first two years in the classroom. On day one, I thought, "I am going to love this lady!" But then life, as it always does, proceeded to change--she took a different job, I was moved to a new school, and the seasons continued to press onward. Living on opposite ends of town, having completely different hours of availability, and not working together anymore means that we don't see each other often. But a couple of weeks ago, I took some goodies to her brand new house, we plopped down on the couch, and talked for HOURS!
During the conversation, she said something that has just stuck with me, a phrase that has been all gurgled in my mind but that I didn't know how to actually put into words, until she said it:
"Be aware of who isn't clapping when you win."
I have another friend, she is climbing her way up the Blogging Ladder, and she works her tail off in everything she does. We meet for breakfast or lunch, text often, and as busy as she is, she has never put her successes above mine and vice versa. We write to a different platform, we were raised very differently, our ages are different, our words are different. When I have questions about websites and codes and social media, she excitedly lends a helping hand. She has never withheld information from me in fear that I would steal her thunder BECAUSE she doesn't allow for comparison to override our friendship. And when she told me some of her big and upcoming work assignments, I didn't slump over in a puddle of discouragement BECAUSE this girl deserves it!
Who is clapping?
Who is hugging you when you win? Who is holding your hand when you lose? The friend that I visited has told her daughter that phrase since she was tiny. And now that I have kids of my own, I really think it is going to be a mantra that I pass down to them--I don't want them to have friends who constantly compare. I don't want them to fear success OR failures, because I pray that as their seasons shift and change, the right friends will be placed at the right times.
There is so much room for negative headspace, especially with Facebook and Instagram. We find ourselves comparing, wondering why so and so is better than we are; why are they so successful? Why do they have more followers than us? Why does their house look brighter, their walls whiter, their clothes cuter, their bodies BETTER? But I just feel so DONE with these lies. You are you and I am me, and instead of competing with one another, I am ready to celebrate our accomplishments.
Maybe yours is that you'll run a mile straight without stopping. Or you'll start that blog that you've been day-dreaming about. Maybe it's that you've been featured on another site, and someone else found encouragement through your words. Maybe it's that you've struggled with sadness and have felt too blue to move, but you decided TODAY to get out of bed.
Be aware of who isn't clapping when you win.
And then take a deep breath, thank God for creating YOU, and hug a little tighter the ones who have stayed by your side. And as you journey, focus your attention on becoming a better version of yourself. Use what you see on your screen for inspiration, or turn the screen OFF. I have talents and so do you. I pray that you will find them, use them, and then help me celebrate others in this overly competitive world we live in.
*What are some ways that you cheer others on? What types of things encourage you the most in your friendships? Do you have a friend today, that you should text or call, just to say, "Hey, you're doing GREAT!" I hope you'll share this post, that if something resonated with your heart while reading, that you would tell someone else! YOU are wonderful and YOU are going to do amazing things, I have so much faith in that promise!*